Jerry Johnston: How does science strengthen your faith?
Dr. James Tour: When I look at biological systems, and the amazing functionality of a biological system – even if we just take a cell, just a single cell, and you look at the mechanisms within that cell – it is utterly amazing. Take any chemist, any biochemist, any evolutionary biologist, and say, ‘I will give you all the components of a cell. I’ll give you all the nucleic acids, all the proteins, all the lipids, all the carbohydrates. Could you hook them up in the orders that they need to be hooked up?’ The answer is ‘no.’ ‘But even if I gave them to you in whatever order hooked up that you wanted, could you then put them together in the cell and have the cell operate?’ And the answer is ‘no.’ Anybody who would claim otherwise is a rookie. They really don’t know what they’re talking about.
James M. Tour, a synthetic organic chemist, earned a PhD in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue University, and completed postdoctoral training in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University. He joined the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University in 1999, where he is presently the T.T. and W.F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Computer Science, and Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering.